29th January, 2014
Birla White Yuvaratna Awards
A decade of recognizing budding talent in architecture
The 10th edition of the Birla White Yuvaratna Awards, an annual event that recognizes budding talent among architects in India, was held today at Hotel Palladium, Mumbai. The event was inaugurated by Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Director, UltraTech Cement Ltd, in the presence of eminent architects and construction professionals from across India. The Birla White Yuvaratna Awards recognizes and rewards aspiring students of architecture for showcasing excellence in creatively designing spaces and structures based on a predefined theme.
This year, participants were invited to design a NextGen Sustainable Corporate Office complex for a conglomerate, thereby providing a suitable work environment. The challenge was to have all 10 companies of the conglomerate work together in harmony and synergy on a 12 acre campus with an FSI of 1.00.
Says Mrs. Birla –; "I believe, the workplace defines the character of the organisation, its texture, its intellectual depth, its aesthetic appeal, its connect with nature, and much more. Designing a corporate office that is holistic, sustainable and, in a manner of speaking, an invocation of space, offers unlimited potential for the imagination of students with a creative bent of mind."
After going through all the blueprints, Mrs. Birla added: "The architectural plans conceptualized by the students reflect creativity, innovativeness and pragmatism of the finest order. Overall, all the designs, have an admirably integrated approach and look like great places to work in. The Birla White Yuvaratna contest seems to be stimulating the intellect, and stoking innovation among students. A marvelous show indeed!"
Remarked Mr. O. P. Puranmalka, Whole-time Director, UltraTech Cement Limited –; "The young minds of today have the potential to meet the demands of the future of architecture in India, which will have a focus on green architecture. With a majority of our lives being spent in our work environments today, the need of the hour is to redefine our work spaces with a focus on sustainability. We believe the Yuvaratna Awards would help fuel the minds of our budding architects to create greener work environments for corporates in the days to come."
Birla White believes there is an immediate need to improve work environments in urban cities through sustainable initiatives, while rendering a healthier lifestyle to citizens. The Yuvaratna Awards aim to find solutions to such issues through creative ideas and solutions from talented architects. "This year's theme truly reflects the changing preference of our society that is increasingly leaning towards the concept of Green Buildings. Birla White products are eco-friendly and developed after a lot of research and innovative efforts. They provide architects with an opportunity to experiment with design while building sustainability in their work," emphasizes Mr Rahul Mohnot, Senior President, Birla White.
Students were expected to provide sustainable and efficient work environments within the given parameters. Along with work spaces, students were also asked to provide facilities including leisure and health zones, board rooms, auditoriums, guest houses, refreshment areas, etc. The most important parameter was to ensure that the work space meets the definition of a Zero Energy Building.
More than 445 entries were received from over 60 colleges, and the quality of entries was commendable. The elite panel of jury members for the Awards comprised leading architects including Dr. Ravindra Deshmukh, Ar. Rajeev Thakker, Ar. Eranna Yekbote and Ar. Niraj Doshi. A unique initiative this year was to introduce an online platform for participants to upload their drawings. The judges too evaluated the entries online, resulting in huge savings in terms of cost, time and paper, making the entire process sustainable.
For more details visit www.Yuvaratna .birlawhite.com